A VA Librarian Incomes $95,100 in 2024

In our new sequence Instructor Wage Tales, We Are Academics readers share how they’re making it work—or not—on a trainer’s wage. The aim is to take an sincere take a look at trainer pay in the USA and all over the world—what’s working, what’s not, and what wants to vary if we need to stem the circulation of educators leaving the career and recruit new lecturers to the sector.

In right now’s Instructor Wage Story, an elementary college librarian from northern Virginia shares her 18-year monetary journey, from a $45,739 beginning wage to $95,100 now, via roles like long-term subbing and transitioning to the library. Regardless of fluctuating salaries, step will increase, and extra schooling, her grasp’s diploma—partly funded by her mother and father and scholarships—helps her and her higher-earning husband handle the excessive price of dwelling on a web value of $1,600,000. Whereas she advantages from beneficiant library sources and spends minimally on provides, she’s involved about unpredictable wage adjustments and the shortage of rewards for further duties, underscoring the stability between educator dedication and monetary challenges.

The place do you reside?

Northern Virginia.

What’s your job title?

Elementary college librarian.

What’s your annual wage?


What’s your stage of schooling?

Grasp’s diploma.

How did you pay in your schooling?

My mother and father paid for my bachelor’s, and I had some scholarships as properly. I used to be lucky that they break up the price of my grasp’s diploma with me so I didn’t need to foot the complete invoice myself.

How lengthy have you ever been educating? Is that this your first profession?

It’s my first and solely profession. That is yr 18 for me.

What was your beginning wage as a trainer?


Inform us about your revenue development (e.g., have you ever obtained commonplace step will increase, taken on further duties, gotten a complicated diploma, or switched roles?).

I graduated at a time when there weren’t a variety of openings in my space, so I moved round lots, doing a variety of long-term subbing assignments, till I discovered one thing everlasting. My wage diverse lots these years relying on the precise place I used to be in. I switched from being a classroom trainer to the library after 4 years. I’ve been in my present district for 11 years. Some years, all of us obtain a step improve and a increase, and a few years, we don’t. I additionally accomplished 30 further credit above my grasp’s just a few years in the past for an extra improve.

How a lot is one paycheck, after taxes, and the way typically are you paid?

$4,818.40. The district pays us as soon as monthly, from August via June.

What’s your approximate web value together with financial savings, investments, retirement, and different belongings?


How many individuals reside in your family? Are you the one earner?

Proper now, it’s simply me and my husband. He makes about twice what I make.

What are your approximate month-to-month bills (e.g., hire/mortgage, automobile fee or different loans, childcare, meals, leisure, cellphone/Web/utilities, different subscriptions)? 

Mortgage: $4,900

Automobile fee: $400

My husband’s pupil mortgage: $600

Meals: $600

Leisure: $1,000

Cellphone/Web/utilities: $600

We additionally put about $1,800 monthly towards the varied funding accounts we have now along with our pensions/401k/403b.

Do you obtain a school- or PTA-provided price range for classroom provides? If that’s the case, how a lot?

The district I work for offers a beneficiant allocation every year for me to order new books for the library. The PTA offers us $200 per yr for provides, and the varsity orders each common provides and provides for every workforce. I don’t know what the precise price range is for that. I’m additionally extraordinarily lucky to have worthwhile e book festivals every year that fund further provides, books, furnishings, and different objects I would like for the library.

How a lot of your individual cash do you spend in your classroom yearly?

$100 to $200.

What sorts of issues do you purchase if you deal with your self?

A pleasant meal out with my husband, common mani-pedis, and cute trainer tees/footwear/garments.

What expense would you tackle should you immediately obtained an additional $1,000 per paycheck?

Actually, I’d in all probability both put it into our short-term financial savings or add it to what goes into my 403b or our investments. We reside in a really costly space and I’m not relying on my pension alone to be sufficient to reside on once we retire.

How does your district deal with retirement? Will you obtain a pension?

If I retire from the place I presently work, I’ll get two pensions—one from the state and one from the district.

Do you could have any secondary sources of revenue, like a aspect hustle or one other job?


How glad are you together with your educating wage on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very glad and 1 being under no circumstances glad? Please clarify.

6 or 7. Subsequent yr I ought to be making six figures for the primary time, which is good, however it’s taken a very long time to get thus far. It’s additionally irritating to not be capable to rely on a step improve and/or a increase every year. There additionally don’t appear to be many incentives to be distinctive or tackle further duties. For instance, I used to be my college’s trainer of the yr just a few years again and obtained nothing tangible in return. A stipend place I had for just a few years got here out to no more money in any respect as soon as taxes had been taken out.

Has your present and/or future wage impacted your decision-making round different main life selections (e.g., the place you reside, whether or not you hire/personal, whether or not or to not have youngsters, and so on.)? Please clarify.

I’m lucky that between the 2 of us, my husband and I make sufficient to reside the place we do. If it had been simply me, proudly owning a house and dwelling on my own could be very tough, if not not possible. I do know there are various, many individuals who work in my district however reside in a neighboring county as a result of it’s so costly to reside right here.

Do you intend to remain in schooling?

For now, sure. On the finish of the day, I actually do love what I do and love my college, the scholars and their households, and my admin and coworkers. I do discover myself feeling increasingly nowadays that it’s exhausting to think about myself doing this eternally.

Do you could have some other ideas about trainer pay that you simply’d prefer to share?

I get actually indignant after I hear folks discuss how terrible it’s that colleges have a lot hassle hiring and retaining lecturers lately and likewise complain about their taxes being raised. You possibly can’t have it each methods: Both perceive that the cash to retain devoted, certified lecturers and employees has to come back from someplace, or don’t act stunned when colleges are dealing with staffing shortages.

Are you interested by taking part in our Instructor Wage Tales undertaking? Fill out the Google Kind right here. If we select your story for publication, we are going to notify you and ship you a $150 present card. All responses will likely be revealed anonymously.

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